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The People of the State of Illinois v. Timothy Harmon

July 19, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TIMOTHY HARMON,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, Circuit No. 10-DT-863 Honorable Domenica Osterberger, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Wright

JUSTICE WRIGHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McDade and O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 After a bench trial, the court found defendant, Timothy Harmon, guilty of two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 2010)) and improper lane usage (625 ILCS 5/11-709 (West 2010)), and imposed a sentence of 24 months of conditional discharge. On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred by concluding that "221" on his hospital blood test results meant 0.221 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. See 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(a)(5) (West 2010) (stating that alcohol concentration is measured in grams per 100 milliliters of blood). We reverse.

¶ 2 FACTS

¶ 3 On May 22, 2010, defendant was involved in a single-vehicle accident and was transported to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital (Adventist) for emergency medical treatment. The State charged defendant with driving a motor vehicle while his blood alcohol level was above 0.08 (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1) (West 2010)), driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2010)), improper lane usage (625 ILCS 5/11-709 (West 2010)), and driving too fast for conditions (625 ILCS 5/11-601(a) (West 2010)).

¶ 4 At trial, Rosemary Brockmeier testified that on the day of defendant's accident, she was employed as a nurse at Adventist. She stated that defendant arrived at the hospital for emergency treatment and his blood was tested in the ordinary course of emergency treatment. The following exchange then occurred between the prosecutor and Brockmeier:

"Q. [Assistant State's Attorney]: What [was] the blood alcohol content indicated of record of the defendant's blood?

A. Um, 221 on admission.

Q. And do you know whether that means whole blood or serum?

A. This is serum."

In addition, the court allowed the State to admit defendant's medical records into evidence which indicated defendant's ethanol intoxication level was "221 on admission."

¶ 5 Following the conclusion of the State's evidence, defendant moved for a directed verdict on the grounds the State had not produced any evidence converting his blood serum level to whole blood. Defendant also argued Brockmeier did not explain what "221" meant on defendant's admitting orders.

ΒΆ 6 In response, the prosecutor asked to reopen proofs so the trial court could take judicial notice of title 20, section 1286.40, of the Illinois Administrative Code, which divides the blood serum number by 1.18 to obtain the whole blood equivalent without reference to any unit of measurement. 20 Ill. Adm. Code 1286.40 (2012). The State also requested permission to recall ...


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